Supplement | HBS Case Collection | July 2010

Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis (CW)

by Thomas J. Steenburgh and Jill Avery


Pricing is one of the most difficult decisions marketers make and the one with the most direct and immediate impact on the firm's financial position. This toolkit will introduce the fundamental terminology and calculations associated with pricing and profitability analysis. Users will learn how to produce and interpret demand curves and calculate the price elasticity of demand. The concepts of revenue, costs, and contribution margin, gross margin, and net income will be introduced to inform profitability analyses. Finally, retailer profitability metrics including retailer margin and penny profit are discussed. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing a marketing plan. The note is accompanied by a free Excel worksheet which contains sample problems, prebuilt Excel models to calculate demand curves, price elasticity, and profitability metrics for firms and their channel partners, and charts and graphs which help visualize the results.

Keywords: Management Analysis, Tools, and Techniques; Marketing Strategy; Decisions; Strategic Planning; Price; Partners and Partnerships; Cost; Demand and Consumers; Revenue; Profit; Mathematical Methods; Measurement and Metrics;


Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Pricing and Profitability Analysis (CW)." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 511-701, July 2010.